Everyday, thousands of packages are delivered across the country, from homes to large companies. These packages may include food, clothing, more boxing, etc. In 2018, the United States accounted for approximately 82.2 million tons of waste, 28.1% of it being strictly from containers and packaging, increasing the negative outcome of our carbon footprint. The packaging these companies use has created irreversible damage to the environment and the earth, in which we call “home”. Furthermore, many companies have developed more advanced technologies to create an easier and quicker way to package items, however, it is not an advancement in the right direction. The packaging used by companies, such as styrofoam, plastic, and cardboard, is hurting the environment and will have life-lasting, detrimental effects on our planet. These enduring actions will further pollute the earth and cause future generations to suffer from our mistakes.

In spite of that, not all companies continue to use harmful waste packaging during the production process. Large businesses such as Amazon, Patagonia, and Apple, have switched to sustainable packaging. This helps promote the earth’s well-being and brings us a step closer to creating a healthier planet. Moreover, these companies have helped reduce the amount of waste in production. As a nation, we need to become more aware of our actions; in our day to day lives we can take accountability for our waste. Most people will make the easy choice and throw their garbage into any bin instead of reading the label that differentiates the recyclables from the garbage. Large companies should make these bins and add features that make them more noticeably different. They can create fun looking labels with brighter colors and bigger words.

This can also help these companies in return by advertising their brand name. They can also help donate to education systems so that they can add lessons in school that teach about recycling and our carbon footprint. In these lessons, they should include graphic pictures from our oceans, coasts, and land, representing the outcome of not recycling. People aren’t affected when they don’t see immediate change from their actions, but when they see the real result, they will show sympathy and want to make a change. When large, well-known companies develop marketing for these changes, it will influence people to do the same and further draw attention to companies.

Another waste product that deeply impacts the earth are reusable water bottles. In other countries, like France, they have water fountains in the streets all around cities that are easily accessible for people to refill their bottles. This also helps our reduction of water waste. In America, companies can add these “fountains” so that people will be able to easily access clean water. They should then create vending machines with empty reusable bottles instead of filled ones so that people can purchase them to use if they need one.

For this to work, we all need to take part in our actions because everyone counts in moving towards a cleaner environment. This also accounts for our daily actions. We need to show more care for our planet so that we don’t take it for granted. Hold yourself and others accountable for their recycling habits and make a change in the world.

Essay by: Camryn Kozak
St. Joseph Catholic Academy

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